Next in Fashion: (All episodes)
February 5, 2020 5:58 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

18 experienced fashion designers compete for a $250,000 prize and the opportunity to launch a clothing line with Net-a-Porter. Netflix throws a *lot* more money into production in an effort to compete with the venerable Project Runway. Hosted by Tan France and Alexa Chung. Ten episodes.

Episode 1-Red Carpet
Episode 2-Prints and Patterns
Episode 3-The Suit
Episode 4-Streetwear
Episode 5-Underwear
Episode 6-Rock
Episode 7-Activewear
Episode 8-Military
Episode 9-Denim
Episode 10-Finale
posted by TWinbrook8 (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Meet the Designers
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:03 PM on February 5, 2020

Initially, very impressed.

What I loved:
- Fabric on site! No budget constraints, high quality, great notions. Basically takes away the bullshit Mood stress run *and* the host says they will bring in more fabric if necessary.
- *Drawers* full of drawing materials and supplies. The first time a designer pulled out a flat file full of markers, neatly arrayed and color coordinated, I swooned.
- The runway was much more flash, lol. But....

What I didn't like:
- The runway recreated an actual fashion show with last minute fittings and sewing machines backstage to amp up the drama. Designers are still only getting a day and a half to create and sew.
- Teams. Especially because some were already acquaintances/had worked together and some were complete strangers and at the beginning, there were a couple instances of males dominating their female partner.

- It seems all the camera confessionals were recorded at one time? because they wore the same clothes throughout.

I've seen everything except the finale. I'm not sure how spoilers work with complete season posts so I haven't commented on the bullshit elimination in the Military episode.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:35 PM on February 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've only watched the first episode so far -- I really enjoyed the fashions everyone created, but the elimination bummed me out, as the team-up aspect made it feel unfair, especially since the editing made it seem like the male contestant did a lot of standing around and was the one who suggested the vinyl fabric over the female contestant's initial objection. How many rounds does it take for them to go from teams to individual judgings?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:05 PM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Maybe Ep 7?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:10 PM on February 5, 2020

I was unimpressed with who they chose about the winner, and would enjoy ranting about that but I can hold off a bit until everyone's had a chance to finish it!

overall fun to watch, though
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:23 PM on February 5, 2020

I just finished episode 1 and found it...jarring in its similarities and departures from Project Runway. I don't know how I feel about the tone being so rushed and glib?
posted by desuetude at 8:37 PM on February 5, 2020

posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:02 AM on February 6, 2020

I am finished! But I will not do any spoilers.

The teams thing was so terrible. OMG the first episode where that woman did all the work, with fabric she was against. I am certain the producers played up her teammate's sloth but geez, he sure was a grade A a*hole on the runway. She deserved better. She was certainly making more sacrifices to be there it seemed, than many of the others who had already dressed celebrities. Still mad about that guy, damn.

But seriously, any team where the two people did not know each other is a terrible disadvantage when other people knew and even worked with(!!) their partners previously. Ugh, so unfair. Not everyone has a great partner, thanks so much for further penalizing them. Grar.

Other than that I enjoyed the making aspect most, and it's so nice to see the international diversity.

OH. AND. If they can get more fabric any time, why did someone run out of lining fabric?
posted by Glinn at 3:45 PM on February 6, 2020

I don't think y'all need to hold off on talking about the finale if you want to -- the thread is long enough now that anyone just clicking in will have to scroll down to see the newest comments, and anyone who's already commented but wants to remain unspoiled can remove the thread from their Recent Activity until they're caught up.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:10 PM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I ended up enjoying this quite a bit, though by the final couple of episodes I fast-forwarded past a bunch of the filler stuff and headed right for the runway presentations. I appreciated that they had high-quality judges and that the winner was so different, in terms of their aesthetic.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:33 PM on February 6, 2020

It was very fast paced, also because I binged it over a few nights and now Project Runway seems very plodding in comparison. It also didn't do that reality tv thing where it replays the previous scene when it comes back from commercial break.

In the first episode I remember Alexa Chung saying, if you want more fabric, we can get it for you. So maybe it's, take all you want during the fabric grab but after that the closet is closed. One of the other designers gave Minju all the cloth for her military coat so sharing is allowed, I guess because they weren't given a budget. btw, $600 a yard for the jewel fabric that Daniel smashed.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:16 PM on February 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

ok, ranting time then. spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't gotten to the end. I really didn't like the clothes of the woman they chose as the winner, they all went on about how new and innovative they were but really the sack was invented a long time ago. So much of what she designed was weirdly pouffy and droopy - which are styles that only work on women who are as tall and skinny as models. Put any of that stuff on someone who is short, or god forbid fluffy, and it looks perfectly dreadful. As the models are walking in her final show, the judges were talking about a particular dress that was just a crapton of tulle streaming down from just below the armpits, (fifth from the left here) and they were saying that they thought she was able to make it look good, but that dress would look terrible on anyone with an average height and weight. Of course, all the judges were tall and skinny, so maybe they don't realize how clothes look on normal people? I guess this is why I feel annoyed with a lot of fashion, it's only designed for a particular body type and the rest of us can go suck it. But anyway, I thought that the runner-up made great, wearable, well-constructed clothes that would make lots of people look great and isn't that what a stylish outfit is supposed to do?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:16 AM on February 7, 2020

The whole world of runway fashion is a mystery to me and definitely removed from my world ("what can I wear today that is affordable, socially acceptable, and flattering").

I don't really understand Minju's work, but I think she's pretty much completely unconcerned with creating something "flattering" from a traditional standpoint. This is reflected in her own clothing choices - she's not trying to create a lean silhouette for herself, emphasize the waist, etc. One remark about one of her dresses - maybe the one with the gathers over the bustline - that it was a dress a woman wears for herself and other women and absolutely not for men - that made her work make a little more sense to me. Though honestly I'm still pretty lost. I would have thought that Daniel's creations would be a lot more salable for Net A Porter.

I did appreciate getting to see how much she questions herself in the process but is still able to produce something - even when they have sewists for the final challenge and are not supposed to confer with them, she can't help herself. I have a lot of scary unfinished and unstarted projects, and seeing her get from the doubt to the finished product did something for me.

I liked it that the show's producers seem to have realized how much we love the kindness and cooperation on shows like The Great British Bake-Off - the contestants try to help each other, those who are eliminated mostly go gracefully, and at the end Daniel seems genuinely pleased for Minju.

And I can't help loving Tan France no matter what, so there's that.

Where to buy clothing made by the contestants.
posted by bunderful at 5:40 AM on February 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

What's up for preview at Net A Porter is not quite the same as the clothing in her runway show...
posted by bunderful at 5:44 AM on February 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I only saw the last three-ish episodes, after the end of the teams. The team part sounds like bullshit, teams are always bullshit. I was surprised they were still kicking off two at a time even in the individual rounds.

I really liked the higher effort runway show.

I didn't like the hosts, who seemed kind of cloying and fake. They feel really frivolous, too, not really connected to the ceremonial or technical functions. Though, the tip Tan gave to Daniel not to make his final look a boring black dress was solid, and to Daniel's credit he immediately took the advice. I liked that dress a lot, though silver dresses are easy points.

To me, Minju's collection was more worthy of the win. I think Daniel's worst five outfits — even though I didn't like them — were more interesting than Minju's worst five, but Minju's top five were way better.
posted by fleacircus at 6:23 AM on February 7, 2020

I was also surprised they kicked off two people even in the later rounds, geez.

A bit more info on the show, from this article about Nasheli Ortiz-González (eliminated first round):

Ortiz said 36 participants met in Los Angeles, and over a week the contestant pool was whittled down to 18. Those remaining were then paired off into nine teams for the show.

Paired off, whatever that means. I am happy to see she seems more successful in her field than the impression left by the show.
posted by Glinn at 7:27 AM on February 7, 2020

On the Project Runway threads people have been singing the praises of this, so I started it tonight and I'm kind of disliking it? Or at least, I hate the teams aspect, because some of them seem to know each other and others don't, and there's so much sexism I'm getting angry. I'm only at the third episode, though, so does this ever get better? Is it teams all the way till the end? Fuck those guys who are steamrollering their female teammates, especially the first guy who was all "well, it's not big deal to be eliminated" when that poor woman was trying to keep herself from losing it.

I intensely dislike the two dudebros from LA or whatever. I'm sorry one guy's face got impaled though. While I like the focus on the some of the process, the editing is annoyingly scattered, but at least they show you the whole look walking the runway, which I definitely appreciate. Also glad they have sewers so it doesn't all come down to being a sewing competition.

"Make your tailor your best friend." Sure Tan, great advice for people who are barely scraping by or don't live in big cities with tons of tailoring places. I'm not super happy with the hosting...maybe that's what's bugging me, at the heart of it. I don't know.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 7:26 PM on February 7, 2020

I like this article about the guest judge walking off: from The Decider
posted by PistachioRoux at 11:08 AM on February 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just finished this, and overall while I found it a little shaky at first, by the end I am totally sold. Partially that’s because I watched the most recent ep of Project Runway last night and ugh I am so over contestant drama. As someone said upthread, this has a lot more of a GBBO feel to it.

That said, the teams thing was indeed dumb, and I feel like the show was much better once the teams part was over. If they want to do teams, then they either all need to be pre-acquainted, or all strangers.

I would not be able to wear anything Minju made, but as fashion I thought it was much more interesting. Actually, compared to PR, I thought all of the clothes the whole season on the whole were more interesting, as fashion.

My other nitpick—there was only one episode that featured a variety of sized models. I wish that happened throughout the show.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 3:26 PM on February 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

> On the Project Runway threads people have been singing the praises of this, so I started it tonight and I'm kind of disliking it? Or at least, I hate the teams aspect, because some of them seem to know each other and others don't, and there's so much sexism I'm getting angry. I'm only at the third episode, though, so does this ever get better? Is it teams all the way till the end? Fuck those guys who are steamrollering their female teammates, especially the first guy who was all "well, it's not big deal to be eliminated" when that poor woman was trying to keep herself from losing it.

SAME HERE. I also just finished the third episode, and while I will finish the season because I'm kind of a completionist, I'm not really enjoying it the way I thought I might.

I do like that they are more focused on runway fashion rather than the increasingly safe pret a porter that the Project Runway designers have been doing. But the teams situation with some of them being already-established partners and some of them being strangers is just...awful and unfair. Talk about drama! Two independent designers trying to figure out on the fly how to leverage their skillsets and combine their design aesthetics, while the established partners hum along with their leadership dynamics already all sorted out.

The reality-show convention of constant rewind-preview snippets has always irritated the hell out of me. But even with that crap taking up time on Project Runway plus the (useless IMO) "waking up at the Real World House" filler, I still feel like we get more time to understand how the designers translate their ideas into designs, then translate their designs into the construction of the clothing.

On Next in Fashion, it's still feeling like a very superficial drive-by of what the designers are actually doing, and I'm not even entirely sure why. I guess it's that Tan and Alexa aren't very invested personally; they have a sort of "game show/sports commentator" vibe. The PAUSE FOR DRAMA announcement of the winners and losers and Tan's "bite my lip, sad face, this is hard news to deliver" thing comes off as really insincere to me.

(Not a slam on Tan personally, I like him on Queer Eye.)
posted by desuetude at 9:04 AM on February 10, 2020

One of the things I like about GBBO is that the contestants are very explicitly judged on the one week's challenge only. That was definitely not the case here, and it seemed like it opened the door to favoritism. The judges were enamored by some of Angel and Minju's earlier efforts, and then the two could hardly do wrong, getting a pass in later rounds on things like those completely and obviously unfinished pant hems. For others, especially Kiki and Farai, it felt like the opposite, where in light of their previous issues, no nit could go unpicked.
posted by mubba at 3:39 PM on February 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

I really enjoyed this. There were some things they could do better. If they were going to do teams, then either everyone should have been partnered with someone they knew or no one should. Teams like Marco and Ashton, Angel and Minju, and Farai and Kiki had advantages over the others and that was unfair. And, although I loved Angelo as a character and he's creative director of a brand, bringing on someone who couldn't sew was a terrible idea. No matter how great a design he made, he was never going to be able to execute it well by himself so he was doomed when they went to the individual rounds.

I do think that they ended with the two best designers for the finale. Minju's aesthetic isn't mine, but the designers who judged over the different rounds saw something innovative and special in her designs. Daniel seems like the nicest person on the planet and had a definite point of view. I also like his designs but they seem very classic, and the regular and guest judges kept saying that they were looking for things they'd never seen before and apparently that was Minju. But I agree with Minju--how do you decide between something that is so beautifully Daniel versus something so beautifully Minju?

As for Farai and Kiki, I quite frankly think Farai was held back by Kiki. Kiki has been in the business a long time and had great success pioneering a brand, and she overpowered Farai, who couldn't get in many of her own ideas. I don't think that Kiki's ideas were as fresh as Farai's. If they'd stayed through the individual rounds I think Kiki would have gone home before Farai and I'm sorry we didn't get to see more from her.

The elimination that grated at me the most though was the one that showed the weakness of the teams idea: Naresh, during the prints challenge. He designs his own colorful prints every year, but he deferred to his partner's preference for a ready-made classic print in neutral colors. I would have loved to see what he could have designed and it boggles my mind that he didn't design a specialty fabric during what should have been his strongest challenge.
posted by ceejaytee at 6:51 AM on February 13, 2020 [6 favorites]

> And, although I loved Angelo as a character and he's creative director of a brand, bringing on someone who couldn't sew was a terrible idea. No matter how great a design he made, he was never going to be able to execute it well by himself so he was doomed when they went to the individual rounds.

The unfairness of Angelo's standing in this competition just killed me. His fortuitous choice of partner carried him along through episode 7(!) where he got to be inordinately proud of himself for managing to actually use a sewing machine(!!!) to make an embarrassingly ill-fitting garment. To add insult to injury, apparently doesn't even understand garment construction well enough to design something easier to make, despite being self-aware about his lack of sewing skills. Angelo WAS actually very good for Charles in terms of pushing the conceptualization of the designs, but meanwhile every week other talented designers were dragged down and out by their partners before they even got a chance. Can we establish some minimum damn standards for who is eligible?

I also don't get the convention of transforming the workspace into to the runway every other day; it seems like an enormous waste of time for everyone. After time gets called for the designers at the end of the first night, do they then organize their half-finished garments and all necessary materials so that it can be moved for work the next day? That sounds like torture to me.

I have two episodes to go and it's still a slog. I don't love bitchy manufactured interpersonal reality-show drama, but it's been replaced by Tan and Alexa clowning for the cameras, offering weirdly random opinions as "tips," and mostly being incredibly repetitive -- they ask the designers what they're going for, then they repeat it to each other as if it's fresh commentary for our benefit, then whisper it to the guest judges.

I really wanted to enjoy this show. Boo.
posted by desuetude at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

A couple more things...

I heard @TLo that the designers *had* sewing help throughout the competition, not just the finale. They were listed in the end credits maybe? (I never watched them) so now I really don't understand Angelo's failing effort. I did like Charles a lot and thought his elimination, which I can't remember the details now, was wrong.

I've not been able to find runway photos, showing each designer's garments for each challenge online. I've found a few sporadic reviews but has anyone reviewed it episode by episode?

Re the winning designer. If I had seen photos of Minju's final collection without watching the show, I probably would've scratched my head and shrugged. I did think her/Angel's first couple efforts were derivative. Interesting, lovely, but seen it already. However I was always interested to see what they would do next whereas there were a couple teams I was like, who are they again? and why are they still here? I do think the judges were inclined to favor them. But I really grew to like M/A's aesthetic as a team and individually, from listening to them collaborate, from hearing their discussions with the judges, from seeing what they themselves were wearing, and finally from seeing Minju's collection as it was walking on the runway. Still photos are just not enough to judge a collection. Also, I like that her collection for Net-A-Porter wasn't her finale dumbed down for retail. She included some pieces but also created new looks.

At some point, I'm going to rewatch this, which I never have for PR.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:28 PM on February 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Does nobody else think the massive growth for Netflix in both Japan and South Korea have nothing to do with the specific international sensibilities of judging?

Don't get me wrong. I am *NOT* saying that this is rigged in one direction, but I will say that what is good in NY and LA and Paris and London does not cover the diversity that Netflix has now achieved.

I liked Daniels stuff. I mean. I really liked his stuff - but there is already a Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger and J Crew. Minju kept to her core aesthetic - and nobody can out-Minju Minju. I didn't care for the style of the ladies from Fubu either - but I get the point that was made in E5... that fashion has long been dictated by one aesthetic and that sometimes you have to recognize more is at play and your biases come from somewhere.

As for the first team leaving - could it not be pointed out that a clear message of : success is best achieved by working with your partner, that misogyny and an overbearing man will no longer cut it in fashion? Her partner came off across as a jerk. I doubt he will be invited back. I could very easily see them bringing her back, citing growth.

I'd also add, that as shows go - I hate time and speed based competitions and cattiness. We don't get to see the quality of the work, really only a mock-concept; however, with the medium - it worked (Less so on half-baked baked goods). What I liked most about this show, is that when folks left - especially after episode 6 or so - they all left with 'I learned so much, met lovely people and made friendships'. I haven't seen those last two components - the acknowledgement of the skill of others - even the outright advice of competitors - that was present throughout this series.

Second to last thought, the teams that were formed / and when they split teams... they all were what people made of them. I could see the team that got pissed off at the result of the non-elimination match... They self destructed. Maybe that team should have been eliminated, but they literally just reversed order for which of those two teams would be eliminated and when. That is all. It took one week longer. Charles and Angelo could have been just as forgettable as the team that was not Kiki and Farai, but they weren't (To be clear, I just had to look something up... I was referring to Claire and Adolfo, but I seriously - I couldn't remember their names). Angelo brought some design aspects to Charles - who could produce like no other... holy shit. That man can sow! But... wow - shared vision to singular execution - Angelo got slaughtered for his inability, and Charles got as far as his aesthetic could go. Arguably, so did Carli - Daniel's partner.

Last thought... Fish Pockets??? WTF?
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:49 PM on February 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just finished watching it, liked it fine, would watch another season. I felt that what the judges were looking for first and foremost in the winning collection was, as they kept saying over and over and over again, Instagrammable moments. Something that would just look so good for a quick pose and snap, and get hundreds of thousands of likes and comments. Daniel's collection didn't have Instagrammable clothes overall (although a few stood out), Minju's did, most definitely. It seems that's pretty much all they cared about based on their appraisals and comments.
posted by the webmistress at 8:39 PM on February 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh also, there is just no good reason why they only had 3 days to turn out a collection. That chapped my hide. I mean...PR gives them like...what, six weeks? Three days. What is the everloving point of it?
posted by the webmistress at 8:42 PM on February 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

In the second-to-last episode, I was pleasantly surprised by how thoughtful Tommy Hilfiger was. I don't know what I expected of his personality, but that was really nice to watch.

In the finale, I just really liked having more time with the designers as they worked rather than buzzing around like a bee with our hosts.

I agree that the three-day limitation for the final was some counterproductive bullshit. It's supposed to be the capstone of the show, not just another elimination round. It's their chance to really show the judges what they can do, so they have to design and fabricate garments...twice as fast? (With sewing help, yes, but explaining and supervising is a whole 'nother job that takes time.) Come ON, at least give them a week.
posted by desuetude at 10:12 PM on February 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

Thanks for that link PistachioRoux, I'm going to watch Styling Hollywood to get my fashion fix next!

On Project Runway when the winning look from a challenge will be produced, I can always tell which one will win: the one with the fewest pattern pieces and seams that still looks good! So, I was of course thinking Minju would win. But at Net-a-Porter prices, I think this was actually less important to her win. (also, I think Daniel made a mistake doing mostly menswear.)
posted by vespabelle at 10:34 AM on February 22, 2020

I liked the teams and I am not certain that some know one another — some don't dynamic was as unfair as it seemed. When they got to the split, there were two friend-teams and two new-teams. The finale was one person from a friend-team, one from a new team.
posted by dame at 3:55 AM on March 23, 2020

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